Winter is coming (just without the ice zombies hopefully) and soon it will be ski season. One of the most famous places in the world to go skiing is Aspen in Colorado. It is a stunning and idyllic mountain resort town but one that is likely to be out of the budget for most folks. But for those who think they may be able to squeeze it into the budget, then rentals may be the most affordable option in Aspen.
Alternatively, if one is on the East Coast, then the better option may be to go skiing in Vermont. While Vermont's mountains are a far cry from the eye-watering Rockies, the state does offer the best skiing in the eastern half of the United States.
How Aspen Went From Boom/Bust Town To Exclusive Ski Resort
The city can be traced back to the winter of 1879. At this time, tensions with the Ute tribe were high and there was the risk of a Ute uprising. The Ute were fighting to keep their land but a group of miners ignored pleas by the governor of Colorado and stayed there. By 1893 the town had grown and it had banks, a hospital, two theaters, an opera house, and a police department.
Aspen was founded during the Colorado Silver Boom (not Gold Boom for a change) and received its name from a large number of aspen trees in the area. It boomed during the 1880s but its good times ended with the Panic of 1893 that collapsed the silver market.
- Founded: During The Colorado Silver Boom
- First Name: Originally Aspen Was Called Ute City
For the next half-century, the town languished and its population declined. By 1930 its population had fallen to around 700. But mid-century it saw its fortunes begin to turn with it being redeveloped into a ski resort.
As the town went into decline, its old commercial buildings and houses remained. Its location and its excellent snow made it a tempting proposition to be redeveloped as a ski resort. The project to transform it was delayed by World War II.
It also became a popular destination for the counter-cultural youth of the 1970s and gained notoriety for some of the era's hedonistic excesses. As the century wore on it became a popular retreat for celebrities and accommodation costs shot up.
- John Denver: Wrote Two Songs About Aspen After Living There
- Peak: Aspen Reached Its Mining Peak in 1891 and 1892
The City Of Aspen Today
The City of Aspen is more of a small town with a population of around 7,000. It is a remote but stunning area of the Rocky Mountain's Sawatch Range and the Elk Mountains.
- Population: Around 7,000
Aspen has a high elevation being just below 8,000 feet or 2,400 meters above sea level.
Today it remains a popular year-round destination and it has become one of the most expensive places in the United States to buy a home.
One of the main ski resorts in Aspen is Aspen Snowmass. It is made up of four skiing and snowboarding areas on four adjacent mountains near Aspen. Together they make up one of the most famous winter resorts in the world. The four ski areas are:
- Aspen Mountain: The Oldest Of The Areas And is Located On Bell Mountain And Aspen Mountain
- Aspen Highlands: Located North Of Aspen On Highland Peak and Loge Peak
- Buttermilk: A Family Oriented Ski Area That Also Hosts the X Games
- Snowmass: The Largest of The Areas - Larger than The other Three Combined
The winter season is returning and this year Aspen Snowmass is celebrating its 75th anniversary of skiing. It has been 75 years that Aspen has been a destination for skiing. To celebrate, Aspen Snowmass is offering $75 adult lift tickets on lodging/lift/equipment rental packages booked through Stay Aspen Snowmass.
- Tip: Enjoy $75 Deals From Snowmass this Season
Additionally, they are also offering $75 lift tickets to all during the early season and again in the late season (that's November 25 to December 21 and from April 3 to April 17).
There are plenty of high-end options of places to stay in Aspen (don't expect anything budget-friendly). In fact, even a hostel with a shared bathroom at St. Moritz Lodge & Condominiums costs around $95 per night.
- Hostel Accommodation: $95 Per Night
One can take one's pick of down-to-earth lodges, five-star luxury hotels, all-encompassing resorts, and more. A listing for the accommodation in Aspen can be found on Aspen Chamber.
Some of the notable accommodations include Hotel Jerome that has been an Aspen landmark since 1889. It first opened during the height of the silver mining boom as a model of class and elegance complete with electric lighting and indoor plumbing. It managed to survive the mining bust.
- Hotel Jerome: Est. 1889
Other iconic accommodation includes Aspen Street Lodge, Limelight Hotel Aspen, Aspen Meadows Resort, and The Little Nell.